Saturday, November 27, 2010


Creation Consequences


Mike Haynes is a teacher of journalism at Amarillo College. He has an article in the Amarillo Globe-News demonstrating clearly why Intelligent Design Creationism isn't science. Unfortunately, that wasn't his intent.

In "Some scientists don't want to hear about Creationism," Haynes claims "that ID and creationism are not the same thing," based on the old and false contention that "[c]reationism means you believe literally the creation account in the Bible."

Citing Intelligent Design Uncensored: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to the Controversy by Jonathan Witt and William Dembski, Haynes says:

Witt and Dembski present pages and pages of scientific observations pointing toward ID, but one of the strongest arguments for me is the point that without ID, life would be meaningless.

"If humans are the mindless accident of blind nature, entering and exiting the cosmic stage without audience, in a universe without plan or purpose ... love is but a function of the glands, honor and loyalty nothing more than instincts programmed into us by a blind process of random genetic variation and natural selection."
If science has taught us anything, it is that the way the world works has a nasty habit of not conforming to our desires, no matter how fervently held. Physicists really wanted the universe to be a simple clockwork but quantum mechanics disabused them. Arguments from consequences are neither logical nor scientific.

Haynes is right that the strongest arguments for ID are emotional appeals to what people want the universe to be like. Its just that such arguments mean ID isn't science.

I'd say the first comment by Richard Forrest nails it:

I suggest that as someone who teaches journalism, Mile Haynes should make the effort to do some research before writing an article like this.

Scientists have been listening to what the ID proponents have been saying ad nauseam. They have demonstrated over and over again that it has no validity as a scientific theory. Over and over again, they have invited ID "theorists" to present their argument in a way which allows it to be tested as science, but have not received any meaningful response. Frankly, scientist are fed up with ID because it is an utterly fruitless exercise to try to engage with its proponents in any meaningful way. They are motivated not by any desire to promote a scientific theory, but by religious and political considerations.

Haynes doesn't even make a gesture towards presenting both sides of the argument. This isn't journalism, it's a publicity puff for the book.
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DM: What do you want, you little f*ckers?

To discuss any differences rationally. Unfortunately, Dennis, that's impossible with you.
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